Drinking Deeply

Sunday, October 14, 2007 at 12:41 AM

Some thoughts from the DG regional conference

I spent the last two days with a group of brothers (and sisters) in Christ in Sacramento, at Desiring God's regional conference, where John Piper gave 3 talks focused around the Pleasures of God.

That rocked. I had the blessings of reading his book, The Pleasures of God, the past few weeks, so I had a good idea of what he was saying and could follow along well. Which was great, because I always thought it was so hard to watch Piper and take notes at the same time. He talks so much, so fast, and he has these gestures and ways that he gets passionate that make you want to watch him.

If you want the sermons, I believe they're online on the Desiring God blog.

The conference was great, and I would highly recommend listening to the audio, or probably better, downloading his original pleasures of God series (12 talks instead of 3), or just as good, read the book. The whole idea of God as a God who actually has pleasure, joy, and delights in Himself, in His creation, in His Son, in His Sovereignty, in slaughtering His Son, and in my acts of faith and obedience was mind boggling and eye opening. But this post isn't actually about their conference, but about a couple points that were ... inspired? related? instantiated by? the conference.

1. I am continually amazed at how counterintuitive DG runs their ministry. I was about to say "business" but then I realize it's completely opposite of what a business is. The registration for a conference by John Piper, wherein he would give three sermons was $30/person. What in the world? Isn't that crazy? They sold books for $5 a piece again. Well, that's what I hear because all I saw when I got there was empty tables with signs that said "$5 all books" on them. You'd think they had tapped out their resources with their last conference as well as the huge online sale. And they gave us a bag which contained mp3s, dvds, and wav cds of Piper sermons, as well as some books and small evangelistic booklets. What did they say? "We want you to be blessed, but we also want you to pass them on, so that others might be as well." My goodness, you'd think they had some really good news to share or something, they're giving this stuff away! And their audio (and it looks like video) is all available online free! Wow and wow. There's a ministry that is convinced that it's got something great and is willing to go in the red to tell the world. Praise the Lord

2. I would love to have church retreats where the theme isn't "refresh" or "revive" or "renew," or "all in" or all those other variants of the desire to get people to love God (which I am whole-heartedly for), but rather is focused on God. I'm convinced, by my personal study, by Scripture testimony, by personal experience, that the best and greatest way to get people to treasure God is to let them see Him as He is. Let's talk about the Trinity, or the Atonement, or God's sovereignty, or the attributes of God or any other item in the inexhaustible depths of theology and let's move the vision off of "I'm so hungry, I'm so thirsty, I'm so needy." Yeah, we're needy, we're hungry, we're thirsty, so let's come to the fountain of life, see how rich and deep and unending it is and then we can drink, and we will never be thirsty again. I'm not saying that those "revivals" don't have a place, or we shouldn't ever have a retreat topic that doesn't include the name "God" or God's works in its title, but just that for all the depths of who God is, it seems we (as a body of Christ) have mined only the surface, contenting ourselves with what gets us through each day. How can I glorify God at work? How can I glorify God at school? Yeah, let's answer those questions, but let's answer them by answering another question, "Who is God, and why is He so deserving, demanding, of my affections and worship?"

That's all, goodnight


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